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Sunday, April 07 2013


We spent yesterday doing taxes. This involves a hurried run to the store for Turbo Tax and a frenzied hunt through truck door panels, soap baskets, and the 'catch-alls' that pass for office desks, in search of every receipt we have rat-holed away for this very day.

I know. I know. We should have a better filing system than the pizza box in the dining room, but every year it comes down to the same thing - a faded Totino's 'buy pizza by bulk' box.  And every year we talk about getting a better filing system. There is actually an old battered filing cabinet in the garage, just waiting to be put to service. But then again, we must haul it into the house, and we don't have enough room for the furniture already in this house. 

Son, Master Of Turbo Tax, offered what I thought was a most wonderful piece of advice - a filing folder in his pick-up truck! He keeps a file folder IN HIS TRUCK so that he can immediately file the receipt in its proper place immediately.  What genius!

His father then pointed out that Son's truck was stolen in February. Just sayin'. (so long truck filing system)

Each year I resolve to be better about writing things down in the farm journal so I'm not bouncing between wall calendars and day planners to figure out how many goats, sheep, and cattle had babies and how many were sold (and to whom) How much soap was made? How much did it cost EXACTLY to make it? How much was sold? How much was given away?

Can Dillon be considered a dependent? Is Lily a dependent or farm equipment? 

And what's the point of having an HSA account if every medical bill we pay from that money cannot be deducted as if it were paid from our regular checking account? This seems a bit unfair. After all, it was OUR paycheck money to begin with?

And tell me again what is the point of having health insurance if two people with decent salaries AND insurance still struggle to pay the health care bills? Our two trips to the hospital this year resulted in thousands of dollars out of our pocket and a hundred assorted bills. I swear they bill you 20 times for the same damned thing just hoping you won't remember you paid that bill already.

The major injury we treated ourselves with "at home veterinary skills used on ourselves" cost us exactly $145. (The same trip to the ER would have resulted in at least $14,000!) After our experience with the astronomical cost of health care this year, we decided to opt for the veterinarian instead of the human doctor. If we can't treat it ourselves, we may just die.  And we HAVE insurance!

(These are the things you think about when you start wading through receipts!) 

Doing taxes is always a group effort. In fact, no tax time is complete without the calls to friends: "How many sheep did I sell you? Do you remember what I charged?"

But in the end, the entire year is neatly (I use this word loosely.) bound in a folder. Receipts have been rounded up, placed in a corral (Ziploc bag) and labelled accordingly. It's always such an odd feeling to see a year of my life, condensed to one folder (and a day planner). It's also sobering to stare at the black and white of where your money went and what you got for it.

I just want to point out that Dillon's stay in the hospital cost me about $1200. He stayed approximately 18 hours and received all manner of tests and personal attention. My own stay in the ER was just about 5 hours. I also received all manner of tests. Thus far that stay has cost me many times over Dillon's bill and another bill came in last night.  OUCH!

So I ask you this: Is it too late for me to get Social Security numbers for some of these dogs and start claiming them as dependents? I'm just askin'.





Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 09:01 am   |  Permalink   |  4 Comments  |  Email
I would strongly advise NOT getting SSN's for the dogs, as then you would probably require to pay human-scale medical bills for them too. Instead, get canine numbers for the humans so they can go get veterinary care at significantly reduced rates :-p And hey, since canines don't file taxes...maybe that would make you tax exempt too????
Posted by AlbertaGirl on 04/08/2013 - 08:49 AM
On another note (I am an accounting tech in Canada), while it makes sense that you can't claim medical bills paid out of "insurance" or health plans... if you paid INTO your HSA account (which I assume is an insurance account of sorts), shouldn't you be able to claim the premiums that you paid in? In Canada, health insurance and health plan premiums are claimable. And to me, it's totally illogical that they wouldn't be elsewhere. But nobody ever said revenue agencies were logical. *eyeroll*. Having said all that, I freely admit that while our firm does US taxes, I am not the tech who prepares them, and so I really don't know about the particulars of your tax system. I just think it's stupid if you can't claim premiums paid in.
Posted by AlbertaGirl on 04/08/2013 - 08:51 AM
Yes, we pay into an HSA account. The way I understood it, if we didn't take the money out of that HSA account, but just out of checking, we could have deducted it. (Shrug) None of it makes sense to me.
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 04/10/2013 - 08:56 PM
Ok..the curious in me googled quickly, please correct me if I'm wrong because I'm curious to understand how HSA's work. (It's not something we have in Canada) It looks like, from what I could tell, you put $$ in and the $$ you put in is tax exempt? So you get to deduct whatever contributions you make from the HSA from your taxable income? Then when the $$ is taken out for appropriate health spending, it is not taxed for being taken out, right? If that's the case, then it makes sense that you can't deduct medical expenses paid from the HSA, because you already got to deduct those contributions in from your income at a previous date. Sorry. I am very geeky about this stuff. Probably why I still enjoy my job!! Lol!
Posted by AlbertaGirl on 04/11/2013 - 10:28 AM

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